Pope Francis gets covid-19 vaccine: reports

Vatican begins its covid vaccination programme.

Pope Francis was reportedly vaccinated for covid-19 on 13 January, according to reports in the Argentine daily newspaper La Nación, and in America, the US-based Jesuit news website.

The Vatican press office said it had no comment to make on the reports however its director Matteo Bruni confirmed that the Vatican's vaccination campaign had begun this morning in the atrium of the Paul VI audience hall.

Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano said that "Vatican sources" confirmed to it that Pope Francis had received the vaccine today, "immediately after the Swiss Guards."

In an interview on Italian television channel TG5 last Saturday night, watched by five million viewers, the 84-year-old pontiff urged people to get vaccinated against covid-19, calling it an 'ethical duty.'

The pope described opposition to the coronavirus vaccine as a "suicidal denial that I cannot explain."

The covid vaccine is being administered in the Vatican in the Paul VI auditorium. (Photo courtesy Vatican Media).

Under its vaccination programme, priority is being given to Vatican health care workers, security personnel, employees who deal with the public, and older residents, employees and retirees, reports The Tablet, the Catholic international weekly review published in London.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who is aged 93 and lives in a converted monastery in the Vatican Gardens, planned to receive the vaccine as soon as it became available in Vatican City, according to German Catholic news agency KNA.